Monday, May 10, 2010

Eco Tourism Policy

The Eco Tourism Policy was brought about as a set of guidelines and policies for the development of eco tourism. It is a result of initiatives taken by the Ministry of Tourism in 1998. According to the World Tourism Organization, eco tourism is defined as “tourism that involves travelling to relatively undisturbed natural areas with the specified objective of studying, admiring and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as any cultural aspects (both of the past and of the present) found in these areas.”

Some of the principles of the Eco Tourism Policy are –
  • The development of physical infrastructure for tourism should be preceded by the preparation of an inventory of resources and a management plan to ensure preservation and public use of valuable natural sites.
  • Whenever destruction or serious alteration of eco tourism natural areas such as wetlands, coral reefs or rainforests are planned, benefits and costs should be carefully assessed.
  • Establish standards for resort development such as style and location of structures, treatment of sewage, control of litter, preservation of open spaces, prevention of noise pollution and public use of fragile areas.
In addition, the Eco Tourism Policy also contains operational guidelines for the government, developers, operators, suppliers, tourists, NGO’s, research organizations and the general population.

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